Viola has been shipwrecked off Illyria. Brought ashore, she disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, and works as a page for the Duke, Orsino. Orsino sends "him" with messages of love for Olivia, who has so far rejected him, but Olivia falls in love with "Cesario", and Viola falls in love with Orsino.
Meanwhile, Viola's twin brother, Sebastian, has been rescued by Antonio, a sea captain. Antonio mistakes the disguised Viola for Sebastian, and asks her for some money he had entrusted to Sebastian, which he needs to pay off a debt. She cannot provide it, so Antonio is taken to prison. Olivia sees Sebastian, mistakes him for "Cesario", and marries him. Antonio is brought before Orsino. Seeing Cesario again, Antonio still thinks "he" is Sebastian, while Olivia claims she has married "him". At last, Sebastian arrives and the chaos is resolved. When Viola puts on her woman's clothes, Orsino falls in love with her and marries her.
In the farcical sub-plot, Olivia's pompous steward Malvolio is tricked into thinking Olivia loves him by various members of her household.
—Summary taken from The World of Shakespeare.
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